People are calling Guardians of the Galaxy a “weird” movie, but in many ways it’s the least weird movie of James Gunn’s career. The director and co-writer of the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment has always had a strange sense of humor, and the fact that he got his start at Troma Entertainment only nurtured that taste. We’d argue that even his scripts for the two live-action Scooby-Doo movies are at times weirder than anything in GOTG.
If you want to see Gunn’s sensibility at its weirdest, though, look to his short films. His first directorial credits include a couple sketches for Troma’s Edge TV program in the UK. One called Sgt. Kabukiman Public Service Announcement and is just Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman ranting about NYC’s homeless situation (watch that NSFW short here) while another is titled Hamster PSA and is a blood-filled effort urging the title rodents not to eat their own babies (watch that NSFW short here).
Later, he wrote shorts for the random-collaboration, 48-hour production event The Instant Films Festival. Those include Tube, about a woman cheating on her husband with a sock puppet (watch that NSFW short here), and The Swidge, a 2004 effort that is clearly anti-George W. Bush about slithering creatures you stick up your backside in order to align you with its designated political party (watch that NSFW short here).
In 2008, he wrote and directed Humanzee!, a very gross sitcom parody made for but banned by XBOX Live — even though it was produced for Gunn’s own “Horror Meets Comedy” series (also featuring works by James Wan, Lucky McKee and other notable horror filmmakers). The short also stars Gunn as a guy who orders a genetic hybrid human/chimpanzee creature — which isn’t as relevant to GOTG‘s Rocket Raccoon as it sounds (watch that very NSFW short here).
More relevant to Rocket is the short Gunn made to replace Humanzee! Titled Sparky & Mikaela, it’s another sitcom parody and a wee bit less violent. Actually, there’s now an uncensored version online, so that’s plenty bloody and scatalogical and curse-filled. If you think Rocket is a crass anthropomorophic raccoon, meet Sparky. He’s part of a crime-fighting duo along with Mikaela, a teenage girl who dresses in cape and mask but doesn’t appear to have any real super powers. If you’ve seen GOTG, you may recognize her as Mikaela Hoover, who plays the assistant to Nova Prime (Glenn Close).
Watch Sparky & Mikaela below, and be warned that like the rest this is quite NSFW. Mostly it’s Sparky’s language, but in general it’s pretty crude.